From the Worldwide Faith News archives

[NCC News] NCC abhors secret prisons and says bring al-Qaeda prisoners to trial

From "Daniel Webster" <>
Date Fri, 08 Sep 2006 10:08:08 -0400

NCC abhors secret prisons and says bring al-Qaeda prisoners to trial

New York City, September 7, 2006--The National Council of Churches USA today reaffirmed its abhorrence of secret prisons operated by the United States and called upon the government to bring American prisoners to trial.

Wednesday, President Bush admitted the existence of secret American prisons for al-Qaeda and other enemies of the U.S., and announced that 13 al-Qaeda suspects were being moved to the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to face military tribunals.

Earlier this year the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a decision that the government does not have sufficient authority to use such tribunals in lieu of the courts, and President Bush called upon Congress to pass legislation creating such authority. The NCC, which said it was in favor of bringing prisoners to trial, called upon the Congress to study the matter carefully and act "prudently."

The National Council of Churches has issued several statements and resolutions on the Guantanamo detentions and the use of torture at Abu Ghraib prison and elsewhere. The following is a partial list of NCC statements since January 2003:

January 14, 2003 - NCC files a "Friend of the Court Brief" challenging legality of Guantanamo detentions

January 21, 2004 - State Department denies ecumenical request to send a delegation to Guantanamo

February 23, 2004 - NCC Board resolution on the detainees at Guantanamo

March 1, 2004 - Guantanamo families and religious leaders call for humane treatment of Guantanamo prisoners

March 8, 2004 - NCC calls for "respect for God-given human dignity" of Guantanamo prisoners

March 8, 2004 - Text of NCC statement on "due process" for Guantanamo prisoners

March 8, 2004 - Photos of March 8 "due process" rally in Washington

March 11, 2004 - Upon the release of five Guantanamo prisoners, NCC renews call for due process

June 28, 2004 - NCC welcomes Supreme Court rulings affirming due process

November 1, 2004 - The U.S. should accept responsibility for the Uighur Chinese Muslims it is holding at the Guantanamo Bay naval base, NCC says

November 9, 2005 - NCC General Assembly declares "any and all use of torture" unacceptable

November 9, 2005 - NCC General Assembly resolution on threats to civil and religious liberties in post-9/11 America

December 16, 2005 - NCC praises Bush, McCain, on disavowal of torture

February 16, 2006 - NCC calls for the closing of Guantanamo and renews its request to visit prisoners

March 8, 2006 - NCC welcomes the closing of Abu Ghraib prison

May 15, 2006 - Faith leaders call for the elimination of torture as policy

June 11, 2006 - Suicides at Guantanamo prompt NCC to renew its call to close the facility

June 29, 2006 - NCC welcomes U.S. Supreme Court decision rejecting military tribunals at Guantanamo


NCC News contact: Dan Webster, 212.870.2252,

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